Friday, January 31, 2014

Georgianna Monae Williams

The other week I was able to attend an investigator's baptism. It was such a great day. She was glowing, she didn't smile very much but I could tell she was excited and just didn't want to show it. She gave her best friend a big hug when she saw her at the baptism. She reminds me so much of me when I was younger. Trying to be "cool" and not look dumb by showing how happy I really was. But I know she was excited. And I am so thankful to God for the opportunity to be able to attend her baptism. I feel bad that the other Sister missionaries who were teaching her before Sister Farnsworth and I, were not able to attend the baptism. But I can't help but partly feel like my Heavenly Father wanted ME to be at that baptism. That he wanted to make it so that I would have the opportunity to teach this person the last bit before she got baptized, and be able to see that special milestone in her life. It was the closest thing to magical I have ever seen in my life. I don't remember my own baptism too much, but I will never forget how I felt at this one. There was a calmness in the room. It was so peaceful, and I know that the girl's mother was so proud and excited. The grandmother even came to support the young girl, it was so special. The grandmother is not even a member, what a special opportunity that is to share the gospel from inviting a non member to your baptism! I find myself reflecting a lot on how thing's were on my baptismal day, and I am regretful to say that I don't remember writing anything down in a journal to describe it. I would just like to think that my baptism day was as special as this one was. Peaceful, a reverent hush surrounding the room of on lookers. The baptism was even more special when the girl's mother got up to bear her testimony about what the Holy Ghost has done for her in her life. The mother was baptized into the church about three years ago, and I am amazed at how strong and powerful her testimony is for only being a convert that long. She is an amazing woman, and I am honored to have been given the opportunity to teach her and her daughter.

Me, Georgianna, and Sister Farnsworth

Me again, Georgianna, Sister Farnsworth, and Shanti

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Right time, Right Place

I would like to take a moment and talk about my MTC experience. Although at first the rules felt very overwhelming and their was so much information coming at me that it was hard to follow, the MTC is the best part thus far from my mission. I loved my district they were absolutely the best! God could not have put me with a better group of friends. And I say this because I know that from my experiences in the MTC, these people will be my friends for life. I'm not ashamed to hide the fact that I have trouble opening up to people. This is very hard for me because I have been hurt so many times in my life, that I got to the point where I felt numb and felt like I couldn't care for anyone outside my family. I have a strong testimony that God wanted me to be with that particular group of people in the MTC. God knew that these people could teach me how to love again. I don't say love in an icky "I love you!" way. I say it in the same way that Christ, our savior, showed love for all of us. I will be loyal to these people for the rest of my life, because of that bond we shared. They taught me how to care again, and I am eternally grateful for that. I forgot what it felt like when the love you share is reciprocated. And what joy it is to feel that and share that pure love of Christ. I am not saying I am perfect, by no means do I think I am a pro at opening up my feelings right now. But I know that in time I will grow with the Lords help. I am so grateful for my MTC family. We ate together, grew together, and feasted on the Gospel of Christ together. We helped each other develop our own testimony's of the Savior and this Gospel by sharing each others personal stories. There are things I shared with my MTC family that some of my best friends at home don't even know. I LOVE these people. And in the words of Sandra Bullock from "Miss Congeniality" "If anyone hurts my new friends...I  will hunt them down, and I will hurt them." These people are so amazing that they don't even know the lengths they have gone, they can't even imagine what they have possibly given back to me. And I am so thankful for that. There has been a hole in my heart for a while that they filled. I feel complete. Trust in the Lord, follow his promptings to do what he wants you to do. That is when you will see the real miracles of God in your life.

Friday, January 10, 2014

Scripture Power

The other day I had one of the most amazing experiences of my life. My companion and I went to go visit two less active member's of the church to share with them a message and maybe a scripture about enduring to the end. While we were their we discovered that one of the people we were visiting was going through a rough time. Her fiance left her and her kid a few days ago. While we were their we shared with her 2 Nephi 31:19-20:
" 19 And now, my beloved brethren, after ye have gotten into this straight and narrow path, I would ask if all is done? Behold, I say unto you, Nay; for ye have not come thus far save it were by the word of Christ with unshaken faith in him, relying wholly upon the merits of him who is mighty to save. 20 Wherefore, ye must press forward with a steadfastness in Christ, having a perfect brightness of hope, and a love of God and of all men. Wherefore, if ye shall press forward, feasting upon the word of Christ and endure to the end, behold thus saith the Father; ye shall have eternal life." 
After we finished sharing this scripture she started to pour her heart out to us saying how she felt like God had wanted her to hear that specifically, because she heard something similar the other day. She continued to tell us how she will not lose her faith in God again. I then bore my testimony to her, telling her that what she had said was true. That God loves her and wants her to come to him and pray to him often, that he is waiting for her to talk to him. I continued to tell her that I could not promise her that life was going to get easier but that I could promise her that if she turns to her Father in Heaven often, and whenever she felt lost, that he would be their for her. I then continued to testify to her of the spirit that was in the room right then. It was so amazing! I have not felt the spirit that strong since I first got my prompting to go on a mission. She then responded and told me that I was right, and that she could feel the spirit and that she would not lose faith in her Father in Heaven again. 
I am thankful for that experience because I personally feel like that was an answer to a prayer. I have been waiting to have that same spiritual feeling on my mission. To know that what I am doing is truly what the Lord wants me to do. I feel so blessed to have been in that house at the right time and place. This is why I am here, to share with others the message of love that my Heavenly Father has for them. And how we all can return to live with our Father in Heaven through Jesus Christ and His Atonement. I am so thankful for the Atonement, because I know that when I screw up I can always repent and still work hard to return to live with my Father who is in Heaven.

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Into the Wilderness

Hi, my name is Abby Slade. I'm from a small town called Mendon found in Utah. Yes that's right Utah, land of the "Mormons". Not too long ago I was attending Utah State University studying Theater and attempting to get a double major in English. I went to school for about 2 years until this past summer my family decided to take a trip to Detroit, Michigan to visit my grandparents who were serving a mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. For most of my life I was never planning on going on a mission. I thought it was pointless for girls to do and I didn't understand why anyone would want to give up 18 months -2 years of their life basically filling up a waist of time. It wasn't until my grandparent's decided to take us on a little road trip while we were their that my feelings towards a mission began to change. I had the opportunity to visit some of the old LDS church sites such as the Sacred Grove, Joseph Smith's childhood house, and the Kirtland temple. I was walking down the dusty pathway from the smith home and I begin to have an overwhelming powerful feeling of love pour out to me. It is unlike anything I had ever felt before. That is when I knew how much my Heavenly Father loved me, and I wanted to show him how much I loved Him. If he loved me that much, why can't I give up 18 months of my life for Him? So that's when I decided to uproot my life in a months notice (quit literally) and shipped myself off to North Carolina when I got the call. And right now I feel a lot like Ammon (Book of Mormon reference), going into the wilderness (of North Carolina) to teach people I do not know but feel an overpowering love for.

Alma 17:8 " And thus Sister Slade departed into the wilderness with their numbers which they had selected, to go up to the land of North Carolina, to preach the word of God unto the lamanites."